Ancient8 secures $4M in seed to democratize social and financial access in the metaverse

Ancient8, Vietnam’s blockchain gaming guild, develops a community and software platform to enable everyone to play P2E (play-to-earn) games and build the metaverse while earning rewards.

“We lend our P2E game assets to the scholars, or guild players, so they can play P2E games and enable them to earn rewards. Vietnam has a monthly average income of $250, which is not particularly privileged compared to approximately $5,800 for the United States and about $1,000 for the Philippines. We are demonstrably able to improve the financial income and life of our scholars by offering them this opportunity,” co-founder of Ancient8 Howard Xu told TechCrunch.

Ancient8 partners with P2E games to produce educational content for local communities in Vietnam and educate people about both blockchain and P2E games, Xu said. It helps more than 10,000 blockchain game players by providing scholarship and educational opportunities, community, blockchain and software products.

Vietnam is the third-largest country in Southeast Asia, with a population of 100 million, and skews young in demographics, making the country a ripe market for mainstream adoption of GameFi, Xu added.

“Partnering with our community of gaming enthusiasts and game developers, we are democratizing social and financial access for the first native generation of Metaverse citizens,” said Xu. “Innovative play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity have changed the status quo, empowering gamers to own a piece of the games that they play and share social and financial rewards by contributing to the community, all while having fun. We are excited to build the infrastructure layer for the future of blockchain gaming and the Metaverse.”

Ancient8 was founded in July 2021 by Xu, Nathan L and William Phan with a mission to reach, educate and empower the next 100 million metaverse citizens.

Xu also said Nathan and William are pioneers in Vietnam’s crypto ecosystem, educating Vietnamese users from their time at Coin68 and Kyros Ventures, a Vietnamese blockchain media outlet and incubator, in 2017.

Ancient8 announced today it has raised a $4 million seed financing led by Dragonfly Capital, Pantera Capital and Hashed. Strategic investors including Mechanism Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research, 3Twelve Capital, Alameda Research, GuildFi, Coin98 Ventures, Kyros Ventures, Raydium, Jump Capital and Sipher also participated in the round along with previous backers Trung Nguyen (Axie Infinity), Santiago R Santos, Nick Chong and Loi Luu (Kyber Network).

Ancient8 plans to use the latest funding to create a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) for all community members to easily learn about developments in GameFi and build more GameFi tools. The proceeds also will be used to develop more blockchain and software products to serve as the infrastructure layer for the metaverse. As more blockchain games come out, Ancient8 will continue to increase its game coverage, the company said.

“[Gaming] guilds represent an important building block in the GameFi ecosystem, offering users a powerful community to adopt new technologies and earn rewards for gameplay,” said Mia Deng, partner at Dragonfly Capital.

Global crypto venture capitals are flocking to the gaming guilds. Andreessen Horowitz invested in the Philippine-based crypto gaming guild YieldGuildGames last year. In November, GulidFi, a Thailand-based gaming guild, secured $6 million from crypto venture capital firms, including Defiance Capital, Pantera Capital and Coinbase Ventures.

“Vietnam is one of the most exciting and fast-growing markets in the world today for blockchain adoption. Local communities are realizing the potential impact of this emerging financial system and, in particular, the opportunities in play-to-earn gaming. Ancient8 has built an incredible gateway for the play-to-earn ecosystem as Vietnam’s largest blockchain gaming build and we’re excited to partner with them,” said partners at Pantera Capital Paul Veradittakit.

“We believe that blockchain is the opportunity for Vietnam and Southeast Asia to shine and demonstrate explosive growth. We have already seen a huge warm welcome from the Vietnamese community for blockchain technology,” Xu said.